University of Missouri campus implements smoke-free policy

COLUMBIA, Mo. - On Monday, the University of Missouri's campus implemented its smoke-free policy.

Starting July 1, cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookahs, water pipes and e-cigarettes, are all banned on the MU campus.

Officials say smokers will not be fined or arrested, but offenders could be reported to the supervisor or department head.

The smoke-free campus initiatives comes after several incremental bans. In 2009, smoking was banned within 20 feet of MU buildings. Then in July 2011, outdoor smoking was confined to more than a dozen designated areas around campus.

The latest campus-wide ban was initially scheduled to start on Jan. 1, 2014, but university students asked for the date to be moved up to July 1.

University administrators cite the dangers of secondhand smoke and the unclear message that outdoor, designated smoking areas send to smokers as reason for the campus ban. They say the designated areas imply smoking is allowed anywhere on campus.

MU offers services to faculty and staff, as well as students, for those wanting to quit smoking.

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